6 Tips for Carseat Safety
I never knew how much there was to know about a baby, until I had a baby! I thought that all you had to do was learn how to feed the thing and learn how to change a diaper. I really had no idea how many things were dangerous to the baby. There are dangers in sleeping arrangements, home situations and even carseats. I never knew how complicating putting in a carseat was and I never did my research on all of safety precautions of putting my precious little newborn into the car. And then all of a sudden I realized how much I was doing wrong after my son was about a month old and I finally started reading about carseat safety.
I would love to share with you some rather embarrassing (embarrassing because they are so stupid) photos with you of my new beautiful little son (this was about three years ago). I want you to look at these pictures and I bet you can figure out very quickly what I did wrong. Please don’t be rude, we all make mistakes. This was him coming home from the hospital.
What’s wrong with this photo? I think the ONLY things that I did right with little man’s carseat was that I put the blanket on the top of him and he isn’t wearing thick clothing. The things that I did wrong are very evident; the carseat isn’t actually placed correctly and it is elevated too high (I didn’t know there was different elevations based on size of child). So, my little (not so little…he was 10 lbs with a 3 month old head) wasn’t big enough to hold up his head and so that is why he is pushed forward. And then my biggest mistake was that I added that little stupid neck pillow and that is very dangerous!!! I can’t believe this kid survived haha.
This one looks better, but there are a couple of things wrong. So, I took away that stupid neck pillow! BUT, at the doctors office I forgot his diaper bag and then he had a big blow out. We ended up having to put him in a hospital gown. However, due to that, his shoulder straps are not where they should be! And I also have that blue added support that shouldn’t be there. I have learned a lot and I am SOOOO happy that I never got into an accident while my child was wearing his car seat like this!
Are you feeling like you don’t really know anything about carseat safety at this point? Well, don’t worry! I am here to give you a break down on what to do to keep your little one as safe as possible! Here are 6 rules of carseat safety.
- Properly install you carseat into the car: Please Please Please Please read how to install your specific carseat into your car. Understand where to properly place your seatbelt or your latches. Some carseats do not have latch systems and some cars do not have the ability to place latches. PLEASE be aware of this before ever purchasing or installing your carseat.
Seat belt use
Learn how to install your carseat based on your child being rear facing or forward facing.
Every carseat that you will find will be approved to be sold on the market and there technically none that are “more safe than others” but let’s be real, there are certainly ones that are better than others. We have one that is very similar to the Graco My Ride and we love it, but when we buy another one we are DEFINITELY going to buy the Graco Extend to Fit!
2. Keep Your Child Rear Facing: Stop forcing your child to grow up so fast. You shouldn’t be placing your child forward facing until they are at LEAST two years old. In fact, in many states it is the LAW to be at least 2 and 30 lbs in order to be forward facing. Your child is 300x more safe when they are rear facing than forward facing. I understand that you want your child to have more fun forward facing, but it’s not worth risking their safety.
3.No Extra Padding: I remember when I had my HUGE baby! He had a big ole head and I was really uncomfortable having his head flop around. I thought that I had to put something into his carseat in order to help his head from flying around. However, it is actually more dangerous for your baby to add things onto the carseat that shouldn’t be there. The only thing you can do is roll up burp clothes and put it to the sides of their head.
4. NO coats (or big clothing): It is summer right now and so adding big winter coats isn’t very difficult to avoid, but once the snow comes I need you to be more careful. You want the chest straps to be as close to their chest and shoulders as possible. If you have a coat there then the carseat isn’t as tight as it is supposed to be and therefore your child can literally fly through the straps.
5. Place Straps Correctly: Chest strap should be directly level with the armpits of your child. While rear facing shoulder straps should be even or BELOW your child’s shoulders. While forward facing the shoulder straps should be even or ABOVE your child’s shoulders. You should NOT be able to pinch any of the left over straps.
6. NO Twisted Straps: Sometimes those stinken straps get all twisted and you get frustrated and you buckle your child up anyways. Stop it! Don’t do that! Please take the time to straighten out the belt, it is unsafe if you don’t.
I just want your little baby to be safe. I LOVE my little kiddos more than anything and I can’t imagine my child getting hurt (or worse) because of something that I did wrong. I know that some things just happen and there is nothing that I can do, but if my kiddo would have gotten hurt because I had that stupid neck pillow around his neck I would NEVER be able to forgive myself. Please read the user manual of your carseat, because your little one’s life is depending on you being educated.